That Eric Alper! – April 30, 2012

Bassist Percy Heath was born on this day in 1923. Brother to tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert Heath, with whom he formed the Heath Brothers in 1975. Heath also worked with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Wes Montgomery and Thelonious Monk.

Charlie Parker makes his first commercial recording (Swingmatism) with Jay McShann’ss band in Dallas on this day in 1941: http://youtu.be/1uTwGyw4l2g

Seeing the earliest forms of sketches of our favorite cartoons is what you’d expect, these first renderings are somewhat strange to behold — faces seem distorted, eyes seem too big, and familiar characters have a foreign air. Needless to say, they’re all pretty fun. Check out the debut sketches of Toy Story, Mickey Mouse, The Simpsons, and more: http://wp.me/p26Qb8-1Bj

In 1971, not long before his death at age 69, the great Louis Armstrong—”Pops,” to his friends—played at the National Press Club in Washington. It was his last public trumpet performance, and it was recorded by CBS. A few hundred copies were made—then it was pretty much forgotten. Now the recording has been re-discovered and it’s being released: http://wp.me/p26Qb8-1BK

When it comes to being the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart is a force to be reckoned with. Wal-Mart is trying to find a way to goose its online sales record by allowing customers to pay for online orders with cash. Sounds crazy? Not exactly: http://wp.me/p26Qb8-1BN

Coming off one of the worst seasons in Major League Baseball in which the Houston Astros posted a franchise-worst 56-106 record, they aren’t providing much enjoyment. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find a different form of entertainment under that retractable roof, thanks to a guy whose job it is to provide entertainment, even when the Stros are striking out left and right. For the past 14 seasons, that job has belonged to Nunee Oakes, audio engineer (fancy words for a DJ, he says) for the Houston Astros.. He’s the guy who controls every bit of sound you hear inside the 1,263,240-square foot ballpark—from the video board (the first 1080i HD scoreboard in MLB) to the PA system to longtime broadcaster Milo Hamilton’s radio show. He does it all: http://wp.me/p26Qb8-1Cu